Training for Tough Mudder


Like the article we posted last week about Tough Mudder? So did our other fans. And since there’s still space for the December 2012 Tough Mudder event in Tampa, we thought we’d post some training tips for anyone looking to participate.

Think two months isn’t enough time? Not so; if you get started now, you can be ready to go come December. A quick reminder: Tough Mudder presents one of the toughest challenges to anyone willing (read: crazy) to attempt it. Train seriously and stay focused.

Be ready to go the distance, but don’t train for a marathon

1. Tough Mudder’s website encourages participants to be able to run 5 miles before attempting the course, which usually runs between 12-13 miles. If that math isn’t making sense to you, remember that Tough Mudder is not a race but an obstacle course, and you don’t get any prizes for crossing the finish line first (unless you count being the first person to have a beer a prize, which is understandable).

Get away from the treadmill

2.  At no point during Tough Mudder will your ability to run three miles on a stationary platform whilst watching Fox News or ESPN come into play. Get outdoors and put treads to the ground. As Tough Mudder calls upon one’s ability to navigate questionable terrain, the best place to go running would be on beaches or anyplace with hills or uneven ground. Given the bay area’s geography, hills may not be an option. Stick with parks and nature trails like the Upper Tampa Bay Trail.

Hit the pool, or at least jump into one

3.  Running through mud pools may be helpful training for first-hand experience, but as several events on the Tough Mudder course involve fighting through water, the pool might be a more hygienic offering for preparation. Try running in the pool to get used to moving in high waters. You’ve seen it done in sport shoe commercials, so give it a shot.

Get functional

4. We all think the Incredible Hulk is awesome, but Tough Mudder will call your entire body into duty to make it through, so let your strength training become integral to how you move. Try exercises that don’t necessarily involve heavy weights. Circuit training is your friend. So is the pull-up bar. Being able to bench press anything over 250 lbs is outstanding; being able to do that AND pull guys up a platform is the stuff of legend.

Get ready to deal with the cold

5. This one might be a challenge in Florida, where people put on heavy winter coats when the temperature drops below 70. Since a winter afternoon in Boston isn’t accessible for training purposes, some competitors have prepared for the run by dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads before getting to work. TampaSportsFitness does not necessarily recommend this, but it’s better than having a friend run behind you with a water gun filled with the cold stuff. Especially if you owe them money.

There will be sweat. And water. And various other elemental stuff

6.  Wear old clothes (preferably something that won’t absorb water) and say goodbye to at least one pair of shoes. Don’t worry; you can donate your shoes to a worthy cause.

We also recommend you check out Outside Magazine’s list of training tips or visit Tough Mudder’s website for circuit training workouts tailor-made for everyone.

So, who’s in?

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